The Tour de France is well underway, so make sure you’re ready for the biggest cycling event of the year with The LFX Guide to: Cycling Gadgets. From indestructible inner tubes and invisible helmets to powered-by-cycle phone chargers, it’s all here…
The inner tube that won’t burst
What it does: These self-healing inner tubes are pre-filled with Slime sealant so they can automatically repair a puncture up to 3mm. SlimeLite tubes are the lightest self-healing tubes on the planet, so they won’t weigh you down.
We love: The fact we’ll never have to spend time kneeling at the side of the road changing a punctured inner tube. Any experienced cyclist will know what a chore this can be!
Get it from: Slime.com
Will set you back: £15
The cycling supercomputer
What it does: Tracks every detail of your cycle, from your heart rate, speed and power to distance, ascent/descent and more. It tracks all your data and can send it direct to your smartphone so you can show off to share your progress with friends and family. They can even track your cycles (if they really want). It also gives you weather alerts so you won’t get caught in the rain.
We love: The 17-hour battery life and waterproof casing. It’ll never let you down.
Get it from: Garmin.com
Will set you back: £319.99
The keyless bike lock
What it does: The Bitlock is a bike lock with a difference- no fiddly keys. All you have to do is walk up to your bike and press a button to open the lock. As long as you have the Bitlock app on your phone, the lock will know when you come within 3 feet of your bike.
We love: The fact that the Bitlock app also works as an activity tracker, and the Bitlock can be tracked via GPS in case you forget where you’ve left your bike.
Get it from: Bitlock.co
Will set you back: $95 to pre-order (to be shipped in November 2014)
The laser bike light
What it does: Projects a laser symbol of a bicycle 6-5m ahead of your bike to make it easier for vehicle drivers to spot you. It’s designed to tackle the most common cause of cycling accidents- vehicles turning across an unseen bike. As well as the laser light for commuter cycling, the light has a 300+ lumen output for country lane cycling, so you’ll never be left in the dark.
We love: That you’ll never be invisible to drivers again. It’s a must-have for safe cycling.
Get it from: https://www.blaze.cc/
Will set you back: £125
The powered-by-bike phone charger
What it does: Worried all these gadgets and apps will drain your smartphone battery? Not to worry. This portable generator mounts on to any bike frame and uses kinetic power from your cycling to power your devices via a USB port.
We love: That it comes with a detachable battery pack so you can save up your cycling energy to charge up your devices later.
Get it from: SivaCycle.com (next delivery is August/September)
Will set you back: $99
The crash sensor
What it does: We don’t mean to be doom-mongers here, but cycling accidents do happen. This nifty little gadget attaches to your helmet and sends alerts to your contacts if you find yourself in trouble. A countdown is triggered on impact and if you don’t disable it, your GPS coordinates and alerts are sent to the emergency services.
We love: That it might just save your bacon.
Get it from: ICEDot.org
Will set you back: $149, plus $10 a year for ICEdot membership
The cycling glasses with a built-in computer
What it does: Combines protective glasses with polarized lenses with a high-tech cycling computer. It tracks, speed, distance and elevation and can be connected to your smartphone or heart rate monitor. You can even install apps for checking the weather and social media.
We love: The built-in HD camera with microphone and speaker, so you can record every second of your cycle.
Get it from: ReconInstruments.com this autumn
Will set you back: $599
The invisible cycle helmet
What it does: We know you know you should always wear a helmet when you’re cycling. But we also know you like to feel the wind in your hair, and there are times when you just don’t want to arrive with helmet-hair. This is the dilemma that this little gadget solves. It’s a scarf-like collar that won’t interfere with your hairdo, but if sensors detect you’re heading for trouble an inflatable helmet puffs out in milliseconds to protect your head.
We love: What a clever idea it is.
Get it from: Hovding.com
Will set you back: £299
The indicating handlebars
What it does: These little bicycle grips have integrated LEDs that act as steady side marker lights as well as direction indicators. Because hand signals are all well and good if the drivers around you recognize them. But that’s not always the case.
We love: How easy they are to fit- all you have to do is slide them into your handlebars and you’re ready to go.
Get it from: BlinkerGrips.com
Will set you back: $69
The speaker that fits into your bottle holder
What it does: Allows you to listen to music while cycling without using headphones, which can be a dangerous game. The boomBOTTLE fits into the bottle holder on your bike and synchs to your smartphone to blast out your favourite tunes on the go.
We love: Being able to cycle and listen to music at the same time. But you might want to delete One Direction from your playlist now that everyone else can hear your music choices, too.
Get it from: Amazon.co.uk
Will set you back: £90.95